Why I've become comfortable with 'just' a Glock 43
(Or, 'Confessions of a 1911-carrying old fart')
It was hard for me to psychologically accept the tiny Glock 43 as a ‘real’ defensive firearm. I spent the 80’s and 90’s carrying either 1911 autos or .357 magnum revolvers, and those were what my comfort zone was built around as far as defensive-gun characteristics. The little G43 is just silly small and laughably light; and at first glance there was no way it made the cut (again, psychologically) into the same functional neighborhood as the ‘real’ guns I’d been carrying for decades.
But when logic was applied, the reality smacked hard.
First, a basic premise – simply that from a functionality and capability perspective, a standard 1911-style pistol is a fully adequate defensive pistol. Some may disagree, but their psychoses are their problems. One caveat – this is based on the 1911’s as I carried them for years. If carrying them today, some things such as ammo choice may be different. So that’s my only possible frame of reference – the 1911 as I carried it for years (loaded with Federal 185-grain JHP’s), vs. the G43.
It was initially hard for me to accept, but the objective, measurable fact is that in pretty much every category except trigger quality, the G43 actually exceeds my beloved 1911’s when it comes to private-citizen concealed carry.
First, size. Definite advantage to the G43:
The size advantage causes other ripple-effect advantages as well. I carry the G43 at 1:00 (‘appendix’ in today’s tactical terminology); I used to do that with a miniature Detonics, but no way I can with the full-size 1911 guns. I have no doubt that Mr. Right Nut would protest vehemently.
“Size” isn’t just in profile, either. The 1911 is substantially bigger in all three dimensions, which greatly affects carry options and carry comfort even further.
Second, capacity. That top picture shows the G43 and one of my normal 1911’s side by side; both with seven-round magazines, so both have a 7+1 capacity. Advantage to neither.
Third, per-round power. If the G43 is smaller and has the same capacity but is weaker, it could be a bad thing. Thing is, the G43 as I carry it is actually more powerful than the huge 1911 was; the 1911 with 185 Federals runs 331.8 ft/lbs of energy, and the G43 with 100-grain corbons runs 419 ft/lbs. So the tiny little gun not only holds the same number of shots, it’s more than 25% more powerful on a shot-per-shot basis. Advantage G43.
Fourth, weight. The 1911 with 7 rounds of 185’s weighs 45.55 ounces. The G43 with seven of my carry corbons weighs 20.99 ounces. Even loaded with more-typical 124-grain ammo, the G43 with seven rounds is only 21.39 ounces; less than half the weight of the behemoths that served me so well for so long.
Fifth, maintenance. A glock is hugely lower maintenance, and more tolerant of environmental gunk than a 1911 is. Advantage G43.
All that said, there are times and situations where I would want more than a G43 or 1911 either one. When visiting Houston last year for a family function, I carried a 12-shot 9mm and a spare magazine all the time we were there. But I’m not in a major cesspool (I mean city), and an 8- or 9-shot 9mm is plenty adequate to reach my comfort zone in our area.
I tried a glock in .40 S&W back about 25 years ago and I found that the grip rubbed the web of my hand raw. Plus the brass was launched into the next province (your state). Because of the uncomfortable grip, for me, I gave up on it and stayed with the 1911.
yeah, it's beyond garand's ability to sand down some plastic. good reason to reject a gun alright, since you're going to be shooting a pocket gun SO much, right?
[QUOTE=boati;290681]yeah, it's beyond garand's ability to sand down some plastic. good reason to reject a gun alright, since you're going to be shooting a pocket gun SO much, right?[/QUOTE]
He never said he was incapable of changing it, he said he didn't like it. Personally I don't like glocks as much as 1911's either, but go with them largely because they're lighter and lend themselves more to lax maintenance than a 1911 does.
For that matter, my 43 doesn't serve as a pocket gun. My pocket gun is a little 7-shot .380acp.
That pic of the 43 above is with a TTI +1 base pad just to show the difference between a 7+1 G43 and a 7+1 1911 (since that's the subject of this thread), but that's not how I carry. I normally carry the G43 with a TTI +2 basepad & extended magazine spring, in a t-rex raptor holster with 9 rounds of corbon.
Dumbasses at corbon stopped making their 100gr jhp 9mm ammo (apparently).
with the correct size pocket, and the 7 rd extension mag, you can can put it in your back pocket, muzzle up. Using the Ernie-Linde draw, grab the front of the slide with thumb and finger, pull on the gun and the pinkie extension will catch on the corner of the pocket, rolling the gun right into your hand. Nobody seams to notice the protruding muzzle, and with a jacket, nobody can do so. Ernie practiced this so much, he was quite fast.
[QUOTE=boati;291301]Dumbasses at corbon stopped making their 100gr jhp 9mm ammo (apparently).[/QUOTE]
They went through a transition of some sort; a buyout iirc. They're supposedly back up & running now.
edit - out of curiosity I checked their site. The 100-grain Urban Response is showing a 3-4 week ship date, and they have 95 & 115 grain DPX in stock now. They may have discontinued the 100-grain Pow'rBall, but when the same-weight Urban Response came out it was announced as the Pow'rBall's replacement; so no surprise there.
When you realize that the justifiable range and likely conditions for a civilian pretty much rule out anything beyond 10m, while a cop might well be expected to provide suppressive fire at 40m, and look at the odds that you'll need to fire at all, much less get a good hit, you realize that the hassles of the 1911's size and weight just dont make sense.
[QUOTE=boati;291311]When you realize that the justifiable range and likely conditions for a civilian pretty much rule out anything beyond 10m, while a cop might well be expected to provide suppressive fire at 40m, and look at the odds that you'll need to fire at all, much less get a good hit, you realize that [B][U]the hassles of the 1911's size and weight just dont make sense[/U][/B].[/QUOTE]
Which is why I switched away from them about 20 years ago. Just pointing out the major advances in the last few decades. A gun smaller & lighter than most .380's of our younger years, now holding the same number of rounds as the full-size 1911s of our younger years, with each one of those rounds being more powerful than the ammo in the 1911's of our younger years.
Progress - it's an awesome thing.
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